COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders served to decrease adolescent drinking

During the COVID-19 pandemic, policy interventions designed to reduce the virus’ spread included shelter-in-place (SIP) orders and phased “reopenings” of public spaces. Knowing that adult alcohol and substance use generally rose during the pandemic due to factors such as stress, boredom, worsening mental health, and increased alcohol availability, a new study sought to understand the impact of SIPs and reopenings on adolescent alcohol use in California. Analysis shows SIP decreased frequency of alcohol use. Also, compliance with SIP orders was associated with decreased frequency and quantity of use.

Trauma history and alcohol’s effects on the brain combine to make women more vulnerable to alcohol use disorders

Prior research has demonstrated greater addiction vulnerability in women; for example, women advance from casual substance use to addiction at a faster rate, experience more severe withdrawal symptoms, exhibit higher rates of relapse, and have less treatment success than men. A new study shows that biobehavioral interactions in alcohol use disorders (AUDs) among women are cyclical in nature: women’s greater risk of personal histories of trauma coupled with a greater vulnerability to alcohol-related brain deficits can lead to more severe AUD effects.

Amid surgical mesh concerns, surgeons are asked: What treatment would you choose for yourself?

There is a long history of confusion and controversy regarding the use of polypropylene mesh materials for pelvic floor disorders in women, such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). So what option would specialist surgeons choose if they were to undergo these procedures themselves? That’s the question asked in a survey study in Urology Practice®, an Official Journal of the American Urological Association (AUA). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Addressing stress and postpartum symptoms early may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes

Addressing stress early on in postpartum women who recently experienced gestational diabetes might help curb an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to research being presented Sunday, June 12 at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Gratitude Expressions Between Co-Workers Improve Cardiovascular Responses to Stress

A study from the University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management finds teammates who thanked each other before performing a high-stress task had a better cardiovascular response compared to teams who did not express gratitude. The enhanced cardiovascular response leads to increased concentration, more confidence, allowing individuals to give their peak performance.

Cancer and mental health: Mayo Clinic expert dispels myths

Everyone with cancer experiences it differently and all emotions are valid and important, regardless of the mix or intensity. Shawna Ehlers, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist and psycho-oncology expert, helps patients cope with the burden of their cancer diagnosis. That includes dispelling myths that stress in their lives caused their cancer or that depression must be suffered through during cancer treatment.

Parents’ mental health was worse during pandemic, study finds

While having a child attend a private school or school with above-average instructional quality was associated with better mental health of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid school was associated with worse parental mental health, as was working from home, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

NSF supports research studying how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affects Americans

Irvine, Calif., May 2, 2022 — The National Science Foundation has awarded a Rapid Response Research grant of nearly $175,000 to University of California, Irvine researchers seeking to gauge the effect that the reporting of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in traditional and social media outlets has on the mental health of U.S. citizens.

Stress during Pregnancy May Lead to Heart Disease, Accelerated Aging in Next Generation

Prenatal stress can cause damage in the aorta in offspring, which may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and accelerate aging, according to a new study in mice. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Study: COVID Tech Took a Toll on Work-from-Home Moms

Research by UNLV communications expert Natalie Pennington finds that texts, video calls burdened the mental health of working moms during pandemic.

Tips to reduce holiday stress as we “return to normal” this year

Holiday gatherings this year will mean a somewhat “return to normal,” so it’s best to be prepared mentally before meeting with friends and family. Here are some tips to help reduce holiday stress and create a more positive holiday experience…

Roswell Park Researchers Identify Key Link Between Stress and Cancer

Stress can have a significant negative effect on health, but our understanding of how stress impacts the development and progression of cancer is just beginning. A team from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has identified an important mechanism by which chronic stress weakens immunity and promotes tumor growth. Their findings, just published in Cell Reports, point to the beta-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) as a driver of immune suppression and cancer growth in response to stress, opening the possibility of targeting this receptor in cancer therapy and prevention.

PTSD symptoms vary over course of menstrual cycle

In women who have experienced trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may vary over the course of the menstrual cycle, with more symptoms during the first few days of the cycle when the hormone estradiol is low, and fewer symptoms close to ovulation, when estradiol is high, finds research published by the American Psychological Association.

Nurse, Heal Thyself – Spiritual Practices in the Midst of a Pandemic

For nurses on the frontline, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially disparaging, challenging and even life altering. Nurses have worked extremely long hours faced not only with the excessive, increased number of deaths of their patients, who were dying alone, but also grieved the loss of coworkers. Researchers explored the use of spirituality and religion in nurses on the frontline as a way to find purpose and meaning in life, especially during times of heightened stress and uncertainty.

Coping in College? Female Students Much More Stressed Than Their Male Counterparts

Researchers measured both the psychological perception of stress and evaluated how undergraduate males and females cope with stress. The differences are vast. Females experienced much higher levels of stress than males and used emotion-focused approaches to cope more than males. Females used self-distractions, emotional support and venting as coping strategies. Male students on the other hand sought much lower levels of support, since they either may lack the social network or may not have developed those skills.

Neuroactive Steroids May Induce Prolonged Antidepressant Effects by Altering Brain States

A new study by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Sage Therapeutics discovered that neurosteroids (allopregnanolone analogs) may alter network states in brain regions involved in emotional processing, which may explain the prolonged antidepressant effects of these compounds.

Role Transitions in Young Adults: Link to Drinking, Stress, and Alcohol Consequences

Young adulthood is a period of multiple transitions, with individuals navigating changes in education and employment status, living situation, and relationships. Such role transitions are often positive for the individual. However, a study has shown that when young adults perceive transitions to have a negative impact on their lives, they experience more stress and are at increased risk for alcohol-related consequences. The research, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, is based on data from 767 young adult drinkers, aged 18-23 years at time of recruitment, in the Pacific Northwest region.

The Monday Campaigns Offers DeStress Monday at School to Reduce Teacher Stress

Studies show most teachers experience high stress levels. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the problem. Many teachers felt heightened pressure and experienced burnout as they navigated hybrid and remote teaching in the midst of a global pandemic. When teachers go back to the classroom this fall, they will undoubtedly continue to feel stress as they face the uncertainties that lie ahead. To provide teachers with effective tools to relieve stress, The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health initiative, is offering their DeStress Monday at School program free of charge to schools.

‘Virtual nature’ experiences reduce stress in prisons

For people who are in jails or prisons, experiencing nature virtually is usually their only option. A new study from University of Utah researchers finds that exposure to nature imagery or nature sounds decreased physiological signs of stress in the incarcerated, and spurred their interest in learning more about the habitats they experienced. The researchers also found that, in general, people didn’t strongly prefer visual to auditory nature experiences.

Don’t Let the Raging Virus Put Life in Jeopardy. Chula Recommends How to Build an Immunity for Your Heart Against Stress and Depression

Cumulative stress, denial, and chronic depression are the byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for Psychological Wellness, Chulalongkorn University recommends ways to cope by harnessing positive energy from our heart.

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.

Traumatized People with Alcohol Use Disorder Likely Need a Range of Interventions to Address Risky Drinking

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) who are successfully treated for trauma likely need additional interventions addressing persistent drinking patterns, according to a new study.

Young Adults’ Alcohol Use and Cannabis Use Rise and Fall Together Rather than Substituting for Each Other

Young adults’ use of cannabis and alcohol tends to rise and fall together, rather than one substance substituting for the other, according to a new study. Understanding the relationship between cannabis use and alcohol use is critical for informing policy and public health strategies. Legalizing recreational cannabis use has raised the possibility that cannabis may substitute for risky drinking or other substance use, potentially with less severe public health consequences.

Reopening Anxiety? Here’s How to Overcome it According to University of Kentucky Experts

For nearly a year, we relied on masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, many are removing the facial coverings, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to shed the anxiety that accompanies a global pandemic. If you’re having difficulty coping with this added stress, psychology experts at the University of Kentucky say you’re not alone.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol consumption is far from ‘one size fits all’

An ongoing analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol and related outcomes shows that COVID-related stressors experienced by study participants – including work-, financial-, and family-related stressors – are having a varied impact on individuals with and without alcohol use disorders (AUDs). These results will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic drinking: increases among women, Black adults, and people with children

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Large Number of Americans Reported Financial Anxiety and Stress Even Before the Pandemic

A substantial number of adults in the United States between the ages of 21 and 62 felt anxiety and stress about their personal finances well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How Exercise Behaviors Changed During COVID-19 Pandemic

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 14, 2021) – Rutgers expert Brandon L. Alderman, who focuses on the science of exercise and its impact on mental health and cognitive function, is available for interviews on how exercise behaviors have changed during the…

Practicing ‘Mindfulness’ in Summer Camp Benefits Campers and Counselors Alike

A project shows how implementing an evidence-based mindfulness program in a summer camp setting decreases emotional distress in school age children and empowers campers and counselors alike – enhancing camper-counselor relationships. Mindfulness – a state of consciousness that fosters awareness – has the potential to help regulate emotions and behaviors. Mindful breathing, mindful bodies, and mindful listening assisted in bringing awareness to campers in the program and provided skills to address stressful experiences.

Mount Sinai Scientists Discover an Epigenetic Mechanism Contributing to Lifelong Stress Susceptibility

An epigenetic modification that occurs in a major cell type in the brain’s reward circuitry controls how stress early in life increases susceptibility to additional stress in adulthood, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have learned.